Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Gregory Hines; all masters of the dance form known as tap dancing. If you have ever seen a video of any one of them perform, you would have been mesmerized by the magical manner in which they moved, gliding across the stage, making rhythmic sounds with their shoes, making the need for accompanying music completely unnecessary. That is the beauty of tap dancing. A form of dance that has been influenced by a variety of dance forms including the juba dance from Africa, the clog dance from England, Irish step dancing, and Spain's Flamenco dance, tap dance is named so because of the tap sound that the dancers make with their shoes.
Tap dance shoes are designed in a manner that there are metal plates attached to the two ends of the shoe, the ball and the heel. These metal plates help in creating the tapping sound that is characteristic of the dance form. Since this form of dancing is so completely dependent on the quality of sound created by the dancer, it is important to choose the perfect footwear.
How to Choose the Best Footwear
If you have just started tap dancing, then it is important that you choose a pair that fits well. It is important that you be comfortable. It is pointless to own a pair that meets all the other criteria. Also as a beginner do not go overboard spending a lot of money because if you decide that tap dancing is not for you, then you will probably never wear those shoes again.
There are many important things to keep in mind when it comes to choosing footwear for this style of dance. The shoe style can differ according to your aesthetic preference. It is not necessary to stick to box-type, low-heeled shoes. There is a large variety of heels for women available in the market. The most popular ones are those that are made of patent leather with a strap that goes across the foot or those that can be laced up. But there are also shoes available in the market that are designed to resemble sneakers and oxfords.
The material from which the shoes are made is another important factor to consider. Most tap dancing shoes are made of leather but you can also avail of those that are made of other more synthetic material or of canvas. The most important element of a tap dance shoe is the number of screws that are attached to the metal plate. Depending on the number of screws keeping the metal plate in place, the footwear are categorized as teletone, duotone, and supertone. The most commonly used variety are the teletones. Some dancers opt to buy footwear that have double taps, which have an extra metal plate attached to the shoe.
The heel height and the sole of the shoes are also very important. While heeled tap shoes look great, they can prove a problem for stability during a performance. The sole of the footwear needs to be soft and flexible, especially in the middle. It may be advisable to opt for split-sole shoes but this is only in the case of dancers who have had quite a few years of experience.
The taps that are attached to the shoes are obviously very important, and it is possible to purchase them and then attach them to a pair of your preference. But this should be done only if you have experience in choosing and selecting proper footwear to begin with, and if you know what works for you.
Without proper care, the lifespan of these shoes can drastically reduce, so it is important to maintain them well. Buy the perfect pair for you and tap your heart away.